Paolo Sorrentino and Adam McKay have come to the conclusion, each with its particular style, that contemporary politics is a farce, that certain characters can only be drawn through comedy, that a quota of credibility must be maintained. , but that the essential thing is the deforming and caricature portrait of attitudes and situations that otherwise would be implausible in spite of being real.
Address: Adam McKay.
Interpreters: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Steve Carell, Sam Rockwell.
Gender: comedy. USA, 2018
Duration: 132 minutes
Match the billboard Silvio (and the others), from the Italian director, about Berlusconi, and The vice of power, of McKay, about former vice president of the United States Dick Cheney, and both go to symbolism, to a substitution of reality for a kind of grotesque spectacle. From the first minute, and through a series of superimposed sentences, almost as in a non-fiction novel, the film offers jocular explanations on how to approach the figure of George W. Bush's right hand. Thus, McKay, also a solo screenwriter, has composed a film that, at the same time, is a research report and a report, a hypothesis and a shameless comedy. A formidable job that even exceeds the already excellent The big bet (2015).
And it does so with a powerful cinematic language in which resources of different genres and even formats accumulate. There are techniques of contemporary political documentary; in fact, the tone used and the continuous assistance of planes and musics that in principle have nothing to do with the evolution of the sequence are very reminiscent of Michael Moore's style in his cinematographic diatribes. And there the key to the whole film, ranging from the youthful and alcoholic youth of a seemingly gray figure in the organization chart of the Republicans of Washington, is in the resource of the insert: planes alien to the main action, which carry the discourse of the film until a new and fascinating metaphorical and humorous dimension, without ceasing to sink the tooth to the character, in his graces and in his misfortunes, in his nonsense, his disproportion and his punctual warmth.
A film of left-wing people for left-wing people? Not much less. McKay knows what he has done, and offers a superhuman defense to his creature, in the same rude tone, along with the final credits. A monologue looking at the camera where the impressive Christian Bale culminates his interpretative recital. Beyond makeup, purely physical efforts and imitative gestures, the actor manages to capture the look of Cheney. And then the caricature transcends to the depths of the character.